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The importance of Fiorucci

From the pop and colored revolution of Elio Fiorucci to the return for the Millenials

The importance of Fiorucci From the pop and colored revolution of Elio Fiorucci to the return for the Millenials

Before Colette, Nous, 10 Corso Como, Barber & Parlor and Club Monaco, in short, before the concept stores as we know them today, Fiorucci was in Milan. Not just a shop, but a pop paradise made of a thousand different objects from all over the world. A technicolor invasion carried out by a forward-looking Italian, Elio Fiorucci, the first cool hunter in the history of fashion with its mix of angels, "safety jeans", leopard pants, T-shirts with hearts, Minnie and Mickey Mouse, transparent raincoats, vintage, golden Texan boots and much more.

He has influenced, in a more or less overbearing fashion, legendary designers like Jean Paul Gaultier, Marc Jacobs, John Galliano and Valentino (remember the 2016 pre-fall collection?) As well as emerging talents like Charles Jeffrey, Ashley Williams and Matty Bovan. He has conquered common people, legendary artists like Warhol, Haring, Maripol, Madonna and still today fascinates it-girls like the sisters Hadid and Winnie Harlow.

After a long period of oblivion, Fiorucci's vibrant world is about to become the protagonist of contemporary fashion and, during the next MFW, will open a pop store and launch the SS19 collection at WHITE in Milan.


Elio and the store


Born in Milan on 10 June 1935, Elio Fiorucci spent his adolescence helping his father in his shop for slippers and shoes for men. Here he learns a lesson that will prove to be fundamental for his future: choosing products in harmony with people's taste, but above all, anticipating trends. His first fashion experiment are three pairs of bright colored plastic galoshes that, published by Amica next to the address where to buy them, are snapped up all over the city.

The real turning point for the boy, however, comes a few years later, when he goes to visit his sister in London and is struck by shops like Biba, historical spokesperson for the aesthetics of Swinging London embodied by Twiggy and the miniskirt, but also by the markets of Carnaby Street and King's Road, with their stalls full of an eclectic mix'n match of objects, an ante litteram concept store, unveil the future to Fiorucci: a fashion full of different influences that no longer comes from above, but comes from the Street. When Elio returns home he has only one idea: "to change the direction of fashion, to include rather than to exclude, select and spread with horizontal and not vertical criteria", and so, on 31 May 1967 opens his Milanese shop in Galleria Passarella, near San Babila, with opening event and Adriano Celentano on a flaming red cadillac as a guest star. The space, designed by the sculptor Amalia Del Ponte, is, as the owner himself defines it, a "great market of ideas and things", an "orderly chaos" within which it is possible to find everything: from t-shirts to pieces design, from vintage to perfumes, up to the most extravagant items found by Elio around the world. It's an unexpected success.

"At the center of a rigid Milan, among luxury boutiques, we arrived with miniskirts, colors, lights, high music, it was a shock to the city, but at the same time my luck" recalls the cool hunter.

The revolutionary, for the time, a mixture of fashion and art, music and architecture, transforms Fiorucci into a meeting place for young people, where to transgress the respectability of bourgeois style, go shopping, listen to the Beatles, drink coffee and even eat hamburgers on Richard Ginor plates when fast-food did not yet exist in Italy. Thanks also to the human and artistic partnership with Oliviero Toscani with whom he creates non-publicity, images that convey messages, lifestyle posters that play with irony on freedom, sex, bondage, cartoon, beautiful normal girls, breaking up the canons bourgeoisie that prevailed up to then, business goes well and stores are multiplying everywhere.

Legendary remains the one inaugurated in 1976 in New York and designed by Ettore Sottsass, Andrea Branzi and Franco Marabelli, which soon became the favorite place of intellectuals and artists such as Truman Capote, Basquiat, Haring (who covers his furniture and walls with unmistakable lines, then sold at the auction, of the Milan shop) or Warhol who chooses him for the launch of his magazine Interview. Famous the phrase of the king of pop art

"I went from Fiorucci to New York and everything is so fun there. It's what I've always wanted, all made of plastic".

The figure of Elio Fiorucci becomes so charismatic in the cultural and social environments of the Big Apple that he is organizing the opening of Studio 54 and in 1983, for the celebration of the 15th anniversary of his eponymous brand, with a young Madonna on the microphone. Among the many characters that come together in the Fiorucci staff there are kids like Klaus Nomi and Joey Arias and, always there, Marc Jacobs meets Calvin Klein for the first time. When Elio's adventure ends in 2003 it is the end of an era.


Jeans & other cool stuff

Elio Fiorucci is obsessed with a question: do women have to be content with wearing men's jeans? During a trip to Ibiza with his wife, as revealed in several interviews, comes the winning insight:

"we were driving in the house, among the scattered cottages we saw beautiful topless girls and jeans that plunged into the water, with pants they were completely adherent.The result was beautiful legs and sedans.They were not simply women, but indigo blue statues."

As soon as he came back to Milan, he created the first stretch jeans that, produced with a new mix of Lycra and denim sensual, also emphasizing the shapes and legs.It is an immediate success, but not the only one.First cool hunter in the history of fashion, the enterprising Italian who founded the eponymous brand in 1970 animated by the desire to create a fashion, joyful, sensual, funny, free and approachable, wearing military clothes, launching miniskirts in tulle, bikini, monokini, thong, leopard pants, T-shirts with hearts, transparent raincoats, colored dwarves of Love Therapy and the iconic logo with the two little angels, a Victorian image reinterpreted and made recognizable by the architect Italo Lupi, draws sweatshirts and T-shirt with Walt Disney, signature figurine for Panini.

First of all Fiorucci plays without limits and boundaries with fashion, art, architecture and pop culture, often giving life to unusual collaborations, with different realities from his. If now partnerships like that between PSG and Jordan, Supreme and Akira or Off-White and Ikea are common, it was he who taught these brands the value of contamination, of two different subjects that by joining create something unique, desirable, desirable, often even collectible.


The comeback

Cosa brings together Gigi and Bella Hadid, Chloe Sevigny, Adwoa Aboah and Siobhan Bell? The passion for the t-shirt with angels. Instagram, the nostalgia effect and the sudden passion of Millenials are about to give new life to the brand.

After a tremendous success lasted about thirty years, in the 90s Elio Fiorucci, mainly due to poor financial management, he was forced to sell the business to the Japanese group, Edwin International, which however kept the company on standby, engaged in a case against the same Elio, accused of counterfeiting the brands and unfair competition for having used the patronymic "Fiorucci" in his collaboration as, for example, "Love Therapy By Elio Fiorucci".

The real revival of the brand is the work of the new owners, the British Janie and Stephen Schaffer, who, with an intelligent communication strategy, have made the desire to live the Fiorucci world come back. The ingredients? Keeping the spirit unconventional, optimistic and entertaining original and, above all, the idea of ​​accessible fashion, for everyone, far from the elitism of luxury brands; but also mixing iconic pieces, graphics and archival content, recalling in the new ad with Georgia May Jagger the same poses of the mother in an old image for Fiorucci, with more fresh and contemporary elements.

First there was the opening of an IG account, full of images taken from the extraordinary graphic archives of the brand; then the publication of the must-have book, the revival of e-commerce and the opening of a pop-up store in London, from Selfridges, then became a real new Flagship store in Soho where to go shopping and taste pink cappuccinos or taste cupcake from Fioruccino, the bar run by Palm Vaults.

Now it's time to return home. The Maison symbol of the 90s, in fact, will take part in the next Milan Fashion Week and for the occasion will present the new collection for SS19 from WHITE, at the Superstudio Più in Tortona 27; while in a pop-up store in the new location in Tortona 31 Archiproducts, the FW18 collection will be sold that has combined iconic patterns such as angels and stripes, bright colors and key pieces, such as denim jackets, hooded sweatshirts and tees, to materials more sustainable and contemporary attitude.

We can not wait to see what the future holds for the "champion of democratic fashion" brand, famous all over the world for its pop, ironic, unique style and you?